Roberts Ejected from Sentencing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/21/03

Roberts Ejected from Sentencing

Roberts shouting a prayer in court today. Roberts shouting a prayer in court today.

A jury found Tyree Roberts guilty of killing Beaufort County sheriff's deputies LCpl. Dana Tate and Cpl. AJ Coursen. Now that same jury will decide Roberts' fate as the sentencing phase of the trial is underway.

While Roberts displayed no emotion yesterday when the verdict was read, he certainly made his presence known today. In fact, the prosecution's first witness couldn't get out more than his name before Roberts interrupted with a loud outburst. He stood shouted out a prayer to the room. Roberts shouted the prayer three times before the judge had him taken out of the courtroom. He spent the rest of the day behind closed doors under high security.

As the prosecution continued its fight for the death penalty, it called a number of witnesses from Roberts' past, including former detective Lamar Hall from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department. He told the jury how Roberts had carjacked a vehicle from a man in Florida in 1981. "Mr. Roberts was the defendant that was armed with a shotgun during course of the robbery," he said.

Then Gwendolyn Malone took the stand and told the jury how Roberts had pulled a gun on her when he robbed Levi's Chicken Box in Albany, Georgia, in 1986. "As soon as I opened the register, Tyree took out the gun and pointed it at me," she said.

Thirteen-year-old Latifah Jenkins also took the stand and testified Roberts beat her with a belt after she and her friends had thrown rocks at his dog nearly two years ago.

The sentencing phase of this trial is expected to take two to three days.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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